Werner and Debbie built and opened Swiss Woods in 1986. With 3 small children in tow the couple moved from Switzerland to the US to build Swiss Woods on a family plot of land at the Speedwell Forge Lake. Mirjam, Esther and Lukas settled in to the family profession of innkeeping. Jason, the youngest, joined the family a few years later.
Werner grew up on a small farm in Schlatt, Switzerland the 8th of 10 children. He studied and apprenticed within the farming community then went to Vienna, Austria where he met Debbie, working jointly with an international team for 9 months. Werner then returned to Switzerland and continued his studies in Basel at the Tropical Institute for Agronomy, eventually graduating with a certificate in Tropical Engineering.
Today he is known for his landscaping skills, and his love and extensive knowledge of Church History. If he were to have a hobby it would most likely be his bees. At present he tends 9 thriving hives. Every fall we spin the honey. Raw honey from our own hives can be found in the Inn gift shop.
Debbie grew up in Lancaster County, the 5th of 6 children. Her family operated a well known smoked meats and cheese deli in East Petersburg, S. Clyde Weaver Inc. She graduated from Messiah College then moved to Vienna to work with Operation Mobilization where she met Werner. Food was always a focus for her and she used her educational opportunities to expand her culinary horizons. Her stays in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland added dimension to her skills.
Today she teaches via food demonstrations locally at the Good Cooking Store in Intercourse, PA as well as at the national Innkeeping conventions using her talent in product development for S. Clyde Weaver's. Her volunteer activities include serving as past chair of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International's (www.paii.org) corporate board and on the board for Save Speedwell, the local effort to restore the lake. She is also proud to be one of the 8 Broads in the Kitchen.